Friday, October 29, 2010

Wien- A Beautiful City!

I don't want you to think I didn't enjoy Vienna-- quite the opposite. We thought it was great! We did all the touristy things we needed to do-- ate Sacher torte, went to the Mozart house, Stephansdom, Julius Meinl, Rathaus, Hof, the Lipizanner horses. 

The riding ring where the Lipinzzaner Horses practice. We were up along the top row for morning exercises.

At the Hofburg.

Jack can only stand still for one photo.

Here I am, dragging him through another.

Stand STILL, Jack. 

 Another view of the Hofburg. 

Parliament in the foreground, and the Rathaus (city hall) in the background.

We figured out the tram system.

Beautiful flower shop in back of Stephansdom.

Outside all the tourist attractions (State Opera house, the Stephansdom, .etc) are these guys are dressed like Mozart, shilling tickets for the concert. They can say "Mozart concert in probably10 languages. The guy told us "There are three things you must do while you are in Vienna- you must eat Sacher Torte, you must eat wiener schnitzel, and you must see a Mozart concert. We checked all the boxes. I would only do the Sacher torte again.

We went to this place that has a "resident orchestra". It was a beautiful building. 

But the orchestra-- they had the worst dresses I've seen in years. No lie. My friend Marj used to call these bridesmaid dresses "Nightmare in Pink" and these were nightmares in both pink and yellow. With big butt bows, and shoulder bows and dropped princess waists. I found this photo on line. Add to the fact that most of these gals are ten years older and 10 pounds heavier, and-- well, you see what I'm talking about. These dresses were ugly when they were new!

We were staying near Karlsplatz. Here's some pictures from our walks through the park there. 

Nate standing on a modern sculpture in front of Karlskirche. 

Karlskirche at night.

Karlskirche the next morning- a beautiful day!

Jack likes modern sculpture

Jack and Nate wanted to try "Blow" a "stimulation drink. I had my doubts....

We all tried it- yuck. 

In Stephansplatz. 

St. Peter's church along the Graben.

Here we are at the Westbahnhof, waiting for the train to Budapest. 

Here's some pictures from the train on the way home.

The houses at the bottom give a sense of how big the wind turbines were!

Beautiful countryside

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Carleton Opera Hotel in Vienna

Here's where we stayed in Vienna. It was a recommendation from someone here at school. I called the hotel and the woman I spoke with recommended one of the apartments. It was great- 2 bedrooms , three bathroom, kitchen and living room. But-- very funky layout. Here's how we got to the room:
You had to go down the stairs from the lobby

out the back door, across a small courtyard

into another building

out the back of this building, too.

Through the second courtyard-- still with us?

Into the next building

Jack has the key to the elevator.

Here we are!! In our apartment!!

 View of the street from our living room windows:

We brought the computer; good cheap entertainment.

Nate's bed

It was a good home base and they served breakfast every morning-- if you could find your way back!! The elevator didn't work on the way down; so you had to walk.

You could get directly to the street from the apartment, but could only get back in through the front door of the hotel, and back through the labyrinth.

It's Art- Nobody Understand It.

It's October break at AISB, and so we took the train to Vienna with my mother. We had a nice visit and saw quite a bit of the city.

Here we are at the Keleti Palyaudvar- the train station in Budapest, on our way out of town.

At the Hofburg- the royal palace. 

At Stephansdom- Nate decided that today would be a great day to bring his soccer ball with him. As you can see, there's lots of room to play soccer here....   Actually he and Kent and Jack went to a park to play while Mary and I went to the Secession building. 

We had seen the Klimt and the Secession exhibit in Budapest, and it was really wonderful, so we wanted to see the building, and the museum there. When we went in, the woman at the desk said that there were two rooms of modern art exhibits and the Beethoven Frieze downstairs. It was 13.5 Euro because my mother got a senior discount. Hooo Boy- did we get snookered. As my old roommate Kris used to say- "It's Art- nobody understands it!" 

This was is-- the whole "exhibit". The rubble from the secession museum being renovated. All in big piles. All separated by material (by color).  I was not impressed. I went to the desk to tell the woman we wanted our money back (almost 20 bucks to see the Secession Rubble) and she said they "don't do that", and offered to give me the English explanation for the exhibit, so I would "understand" it. (all said with a pitying tone of voice-- like I'm such a half-wit that I couldn't grasp the point of it. In case you're wondering, here's what the artist was trying to convey.

"Lara Almaregui examines processes of urban transformation brought on by political, social and economic change. Since the mid 1990's she has studied urban features that are not usually the focus of attention: wastelands, construction materials, invisible elements... "Construction Rubble of Secession's Main Hall" (2010) takes stock of the materials used to build the main hall of the exhibition building.

When Lara Almarcegui heaps up piles of recycled materials according to their volume, she is not only recreating the space within the space in a modified way, but also taking a vision of a possible future use into consideration.  What would happen to these tons of concrete, wood, terrazzo, brick, mortar, glass, plaster, polystryrene, and steel if they were to return into the circulation of the construction industry? Which new construction might arise out of the materials that now constitute the Secession's main hall? ...

Lara Almarcegui renders visible that we otherwise fail to regard, see, or notice. She deconstructs in order to uncover- including a view of the utopia of the future. She calculated the amount of construction materials exhibiting the list as a wall text.... as the basis not only of the built structure but also of the organism of social structures that pervades them- and fills them with meaning. "
(excerpts from the Secession visitor information page for the exhibit)

Wow! Who knew!

I'm still mad about spending 13.5 euros on this- almost 20 bucks to see rubble.  Sheesh.